LIMERICK teacher Ógie Ó Céilleachair found himself top of the class last weekend when his Irish language novel ‘Katfish agus Scéalta Eile’ was among the ten best selling books in Ireland for children and young adults.
The Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh teacher of History, Irish, Drama, Politics and Society was featured on the bestsellers list along with JK Rowling (Harry Potter), Dav Pilkey (Lord of the Fleas), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), David Walliams (The Ice Monster) and Craig Smith (The Wonky Donky).
And the achievement was underlined by the fact that ‘Katfish agus Scéalta Eile’ was included on the recommended reading list for the Junior Cycle Curriculum along with his earlier novel ‘Cúpla’.
“Junior Cycle students can now preview a list of books and short stories and decide among themselves what they want to read,” Mr Ó Céilleachair explained.
“Katfish agus Scéalta Eile is written in the Irish Language and that’s certainly not something you see every day. In the media there can be a lot of talk at times about the decline of the Irish Language and peoples’ waning interest in it.
“However, something like this can certainly not something that you see every day.
“There can be a lot of talk in the media from time to time of the decline of the Irish Language and peoples’ waning interest in it.
“Something like this can show, however, that there is an appetite out there for the language.
“It can be something to be enjoyed whether that be in literary format or on the television or in simple conversation”.
“I heard that a lot of students were enjoying my stories but I never expected them to be this popular”.
So, what’s next for the teacher-turned-author? “
“I am in rehearsals for a play I wrote with my transition year students in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, which is due to open on March 7. It’s exam and project time as well.
“It has been suggested that I write a screenplay for a short film based on Katfish so we’ll see how that goes”.
Katfish agus Scéalta eile is available in book shops now or from the Cló Iar-Chonnacht website at www.cic.ie